The Deviled is in the Details


We’ve just celebrated Independence Day and the grilling days of summer are underway. Millions of Americans celebrate July Fourth with backyard barbeques and continue their outside cooking throughout the season.

Cooking al fresco is the way to go. There’s nothing more American than sharing your meal with ants and flies. Let’s burn citronella and slather ourselves in OFF. It’s fun to be outside in tropical humidity.

Fire up the grill, invite family and friends, and show your patriotic spirit. Over indulge in Aunt Mary’s potato salad and enjoy some backyard fireworks.

The bombs bursting in air drowns out the sound from the day’s gassy foods – the fart’s of July.  Nothing’s better than a hot dog, corn on the cob, an icy cold mug of beer and a yard filled with nitrogen and methane. All the makings of a holiday blast.

I was just at a barbeque and there was quite an array of food. I did notice that there were at least fifteen trays of deviled eggs. Okay, I’m exaggerating – there were thirteen. What’s up with these picnic eggs and the family cookout? It seems everyone must bring obligatory eggs to the event.

It’s the summer’s version of the Christmas fruitcake. Don’t show up unless you present a tray to your host. The new millennium eggs can include different ingredients than last century’s old recipe. You can even prepare deviled quail eggs, but you need a microscope to locate them.

Deviled eggs are so popular in the U.S. there are containers just designed to carry the little gems. There’s nothing that screams picnic more than popping open the lid and getting that fresh sulfur smell in your nostrils. It’s part of our food tradition – Red, White and Eww!

In the 50’s and 60’s no respectable housewife would be caught without her Tupperware containers for transporting barbeque essentials. A woman without her Wonderlier bowls and Jell-O mold was a tainted lady.

Even local women’s clubs had strict guidelines that needed to be followed. Don’t be a reckless tramp and not have your pantry stocked.

“Why didn’t Helen get accepted into the women’s club?”

“There’s a good reason.”

“Does she smoke?”

“Yes, and even wanted to join our holiday cigarette carton exchange.”

“Okay, does she drink?”

“Yes, since the pregnancy she enjoys two Manhattans each night to relax.”

“Then what is problem?”

“She doesn’t own a deviled egg tray.”

“Dear God!”

Don’t even expect to become a Room Mother if you hadn’t held a Tupperware party at your house or garnished with a radish. Betty Crocker would bitch slap you if she inspected your kitchen. There were just unspoken requirements to live in suburbia unless you were a Playboy Bunny or were known as “Big Betty” with a butch haircut.

The deviled egg is part of our culture, and has been around since early Roman days. Every picnic table has a tray or two. Although they are mostly a staple at barbeques, there is another place for these mouth-sized morsels. No funereal food table is complete without a pound cake and some deviled eggs.

Traditions get passed down whether we understand their origins or not. So keep a dozen eggs handy at all times, find a Rubbermaid Egg Keeper, and wait for a death or a picnic. Just remember these eggs are much more vital for society than any frozen stash at a fertility clinic.  Go forth and picnic!










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2 thoughts on “The Deviled is in the Details”

  1. I like deviled eggs too, but I only eat them about three times a year, at family holiday celebrations.

    And yet, I have one of those containers at home … no idea where it came from, and I’ve never used it.

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